“How can you look after me like this?” he asked me as I drove him to the gym one day. He was probably referring to his recent rude behavior due to the hypomanic phase of his illness. I responded by saying that it could very easily have been me who fell ill in which case I was sure he would have taken good care of me. That’s what we do for people we love.
The rapid rate of change in his mental state was baffling! Initially I thought he was just acting up. Then we found out it was hypomania. He responded well to treatment and was near normal, then mildly depressed, severely depressed and then he was gone. All within 10-12 weeks!
Before I could come to some understanding of what was going on, it had already changed. Those weeks were very confusing. I felt so alone. There were no proper conversations about his condition. I looked up stuff on the internet which did not give me any practical help. I felt really lost. In addition I felt his pain. He would say heartbreaking things like – ‘I wonder what it feels like to be homeless’ or ‘I can see myself stacking shelves in Sainsbury’s’. I did not share these things with anyone except my closest friends. May be…..
It was a terrible place to be in.
Today I heard this piece of indian (Rajasthani) folk music which I love. The sound of the saarangi ( a violin like instrument) is deeply soulful. I was surprised at how the first few notes of it brought tears to my eyes as though I had just seen a dear old friend again. I would like to share it with you. Here it is: